Zack lay on his bed, remembering the conversation he'd had with Natalie before maths that day. He wasn't sure to be pleased or worried by the turn of events. Maybe he was a little both.
He was pretty sure the only reason Natalie had asked to do a project with him was because she liked him. He knew he was good looking. There were a few girls that had liked him before, though he had never bothered to pursue anything further; and none had been as beautiful as Natalie. He wasn't sure if it would even be possible for him to date; he had always just resigned himself to solitude. It was easier that way; he wouldn't have to decide whether to hide his empathy, or try to explain it. But how could he explain? People would be scared, they wouldn't understand him.
How would I feel if I knew someone could read my every thought? Actually, it wouldn't be that bad. He had always lived his life as if someone could read his thoughts. It was his own personal religion, keeping him on the straight and narrow. He knew it would be a different story for a normal person. If the people he had read knew that he knew the things he did about them, he could honestly see himself ending up dead. People didn't want their inner-most thoughts able to be known by anyone else.
Zack turned over in his bed. He hated when thoughts kept him awake, but he did want to sort this out in his head before tomorrow. The more he thought about it, the more he came to the same conclusion that he always had: it wouldn't work. He wouldn't be able to live with all of the lies, and telling anybody was out of the question. If he had learnt anything from his gift, it was that nobody could be trusted. Everybody lied. Everybody betrayed other people's secrets if they knew them. 'Gossip', they called it. It was disgusting. It was why Zack had resolved himself to be different. To be better. To not have to keep truth from anyone. And to let other people's secrets be theirs to keep.
He would finish this project with Natalie as quickly as possible. And it would be done on the condition that she never ever touched him. And then they would go their separate ways, and life would return to normal as it always had been. Alone, as it always should be.